ARLINGTON, Va. - Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin said he overslept and missed practice on Tuesday morning, and that's why coach Barry Trotz made him sit out that night's game against San Jose Sharks.

The Capitals said on Tuesday that Ovechkin missed the game due to "personal reasons." Ovechkin spoke to reporters after Wednesday's practice, saying he made a mistake setting his alarm clock.

He set the alarm clock for 8:30 p.m. instead of a.m., which caused him to oversleep and arrive at practice late. Ovechkin said Trotz then told the Capitals captain he would not play in the game for violating team rules.

"I just messed up with my alarm clock ... made a mistake," Ovechkin said. "We talked. We have a conversation. It's (the) rules."

Trotz said he understood what happened, but the rules are the rules.

"It was an honest mistake," Trotz said. "But we have certain accountability rules, and everyone's accountable in that room."

In other team news, centre Nicklas Backstrom (off-season hip surgery) said Wednesday he's been cleared for contact but has no exact timetable yet for his return.